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How To Become A Texas Real Estate Broker

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

So you want to become a real estate broker in the State of Texas? Most people have the wrong impression of real estate as a get-rich-quick occupation. In reality, real estate is a tough business where you may face long and often irregular hours, can be on call to clients at any time and must wait weeks or months (especially with a short sale) to close a sale and get paid with no assurance that the sale will actually close.

On the positive side, active real estate brokers have several essential freedoms that real estate sales agents do not -- namely, a broker can start her/his own firm, hire agents to work under them (if they wish), and receive commission payments directly, without splitting it with any managing broker working above them.

Broker candidates must have an active Texas real estate salesperson license and show proof of four years of experience as a real estate salesperson in the State of Texas. The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) administers the licensing and laws that help protect the public when buying or selling real estate.

Here's a complete rundown of the requirements you need to meet to take the next step in your career and become a real estate broker in Texas:

  1. Possess the aforementioned four years' experience as a licensed salesperson and have acquired 3,600 experience points in four out of five years as a salesperson. Completed sales of single-family homes count at 300 points per sale and 450 points are given for completed apartment sales of five or more units.
  2. Take additional licensing requirements to include a 900-hour state-licensed education course of broker pre-license subjects, which should include 270 hours of core real estate courses, 630 hours of classroom hours or have completed a college bachelor's degree and one 30-hour brokerage course that counts toward the core course requirement (taken online, in classroom or by correspondence).
  3. Apply for broker license after meeting the experience points and the broker education requirements by sending in a completed application along with the required $465 licensing application fee, $10 for recovery trust account and $34.25 for fingerprinting and/or background screening in one check or money order plus all other TREC-required documentation. TREC prefers online application completion and payment.
  4. Once acceptance and approval of the application has been received, contact PSI to schedule the state exam at the location of your choice and pay the $61 examination fee. Download the Candidate Information Bulletin.
  5. Show up to the exam location, pass the test with a 75% or higher grade and leave with passing score report in hand.
  6. Receive your Texas broker's license from TREC. Do not practice until this license is received.

For varying reasons, some brokers elect to continue working under another broker (in which case they are recognized as an associate broker). But for those who elect to start their own firm, the capital needed is relatively small, but you will still need several thousand dollars to get licensed, acquire and maintain Errors and Omission (E&O) insurance, post a bond, join real estate associations, market your firm to potential home buyers or sellers, and perhaps recruit agents to work under you.

Then, as with any real estate career, it may take months until you get your first sale and the commission check that comes with it, so it's recommended that you have financial stability, whether through a second job, a spouse or several months of savings, to survive this time period as your business gains momentum.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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